Earlier this week I was tasked with doing a little routine maintenance on this Satsuki Azalea shrub (Rhododendron ‘Nikko’). Satsuki is a Japanese word meaning “fifth month,” and refers to the bloom time for this type of Azalea. While they often take on the appearance of small trees, Azaleas are classified as shrubs. Perhaps this is why they do not reach such great ages, like many different tree species do. There are many flowers that are past their prime and are spaced very close together. By removing, or “deadheading” these flowers, we can encourage new growth, create more air circulation, and increase the amount of sunlight that penetrates the many different canopies of foliage. This shrub was a gift from Masayuki Nakamura in 2000, and the training age is unknown.